Children’s Reading Promotion Communication and Research in Public Libraries

Abstract

Reading is essential for any country, and the promotion of children’s reading is an important part of “carrying out the nationwide reading activity”. By sharing some typical cases of children’s reading promotion activities in China, the author provides some references and inspirations for the library and other cultural departments to carry out children’s reading promotion activities, promote the theory and practice of children’s reading promotion research, and improve children’s reading level and reading enthusiasm. The society, family and other parties could jointly create a scholarly family and scholarly society, which is better for the national reading activities to create a good reading atmosphere.

Share and Cite:

Liu, W. and Li, X.X. (2022) Children’s Reading Promotion Communication and Research in Public Libraries. Open Access Library Journal, 9, 1-10. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1108932.

1. Introduction

National reading and reading promotion is an important measure based on Chinese culture to improve the quality and competitiveness of the Chinese nation [1]. In recent years, it has received extensive attention from the government, the public, primary and secondary schools and other parties. Both the reports of the 18th and 19th National Congresses of the Communist Party of China clearly stated in the discourse of “solidly promoting the construction of a socialist cultural power” that “reading activities of the whole people should be carried out” [2]. In the process of cultural system construction, the cultivation of reading ability is one of the important links. Reading can improve people’s aesthetic feelings and comprehensive quality. The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the General Administration of Press and Publication have implemented the requirements of a learning-oriented society and launched a nationwide reading campaign. According to incomplete statistics, more than 1000 cities in China have launched nationwide reading activities, and various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government have also launched various kinds of book promotion reading activities. In the process of carrying out reading promotion activities, it is essential to cultivate children’s reading ability. Some experts point out that children’s reading ability directly affects the future cultural level of a country.

There is no definition of children in China’s current legislation and the industry on the definition of “children” also has different standards, such as “children under the age of ten”, “minor” and “youth”, etc. The United Nations Convention on the rights of children rules writes [3]: “children refer to anyone under the age of 18, unless the applicable law of adult age under 18 years of age.” Different scholars have different views on promoting reading for children. The author collected the comments of many families and believes that children’s promotion of reading is to provide positive and beneficial reading guidance and reading concepts to children through scientific guidance under the premise of respecting the law of children’s physical and mental development, which gradually drives children to read and improve their reading level and reading ability.

At present, the children’s promotion activities are held in full swing in China. There are also a large number of scholars studying the methods of children’s reading, promoting the modes and strategies of reading, and they have made great achievements. In November 2021, the Graded Reading Research Center established by Tong Qu Research Institute is dedicated to the related work in the field of graded reading for children [4], which is an important driving force of children’s reading promotion research and a typical representative in this period. Gu Weiwei et al. [5] studied the reading promotion of young children with the help of key theories, and formulated strategies for the reading promotion of young children through the promotion of picture book reading. Xu Junhua et al. [6] studied some methods of children’s reading promotion activities in foreign public libraries, so as to provide a reference for some children’s reading promotion activities in China. Shenzhen Library is a typical representative of the promotion activities of assisted children’s reading by public libraries in China. The library promotes the formation of the concept of assisted children’s reading in each family through research, funding, top-level design, cultivation scheme, management mechanism [7] and other ways. In addition, the construction of children’s reading space is also essential, many cities have also established reading space for young children. Laizhou Library specially set up a reading area for young children, matched it with semi-self-service reading machines, and purchased a large number of children’s reading tables and chairs to provide hardware support for children’s reading promotion activities. The children’s Area of Daqing Library strengthens the interaction of children’s reading, employs experts to reasonably plan the architectural layout, coordinates social resources extensively, and improves the construction pattern of children’s library [8]. In rural areas and remote mountainous areas, there are a large number of left-behind children. In order to help children read, up to the state, down to all levels of government also actively build small libraries. Chenzhou Library carries out the “Spring Seedling Bookstore” plan, aiming to help children in mountainous areas and remote villages actively practice the concept of public welfare and promote the spirit of volunteerism in the process of reading promotion activities, providing a typical reference for basic public libraries to serve children in mountainous areas [9].

Foreign scholars’ research on children’s reading promotion started earlier, mainly focusing on children’s reading interest and influencing factors, promotion strategies and other aspects. Due to the differences between children’s education modes at home and abroad, the promotion of children’s reading in China started late, but the achievements are outstanding, mainly focusing on the research of theme innovation, graded reading, interest reading and other aspects. However, we cannot deny that in the promotion of children’s reading, we also face various difficulties, such as the unbalanced distribution of reading resources in China, the poor continuity of children’s reading promotion, and the emphasis on form rather than effect. Based on this, the author shares several cases of children’s reading promotion activities in public libraries to provide reference and inspiration for libraries at all levels to help children promote reading, so that public libraries really play an organizing and leading role in the nationwide reading activities.

With the development of The Times and the promotion of network interaction and communication, technology is increasingly infiltrating into the daily service of the library, and the professional service of the library is also experiencing the process from manual service to machine-assisted service. The promotion of book reading has become an important task for librarians to serve the public and improve citizens’ cultural literacy. As an important part of reading promotion activities, children’s reading needs are increasingly valued. Children’s reading is an important part of national reading and book promotion activities. The traditional way of promoting children’s reading has been unable to meet the needs of the development of The Times, and the Declaration of Public Library and Declaration of Library Service are emphasized as key points [10]. Some scholars even believe that children’s reading can illuminate the whole country, so book promotion should start with children. Therefore, it is particularly important to improve children’s reading promotion activities and propose innovative reading promotion strategies.

To sum up, foreign scholars started their research on children’s reading promotion activities and promotion strategies earlier. In terms of children’s reading interest, they mostly focus on external environmental factors and children’s own factors. They believe that family education, school education and children’s own psychological characteristics affect children’s reading interest. In the reading promotion activities, graded reading promotion, Lexell grading structure and network approach are important ways to promote the development of reading activities. However, due to the differences between children’s education modes at home and abroad, many domestic scholars focus on the study of children’s reading promotion under the library system in China. It mainly involves the study of graded reading, interest reading and transmission channels. However, in the actual research process, scholars mostly proceed from the macro perspective, and lack consideration from the micro perspective. There are still relatively few studies on the combination of the audience feelings and feedback of specific libraries. Based on this, this study shared some typical cases of children’s reading promotion in specific libraries in China, so as to provide a certain reference and inspiration for public libraries and other cultural authorities to carry out children’s reading promotion activities.

2. The Dilemma of Children’s Reading Promotion in Public Libraries

2.1. Children’s Lack of Interest in Reading

Children are increasingly less interested in reading. In the Internet era, the use of various mobile terminal devices has greatly reduced children’s interest in reading paper literature, and the network games replaced by it have greatly reduced children's perception of words. In addition, the traditional paper book reading also failed to attract the attention of the young generation of parents, without the influence of family reading, it is difficult to cultivate children’s reading interest, so children’s reading enthusiasm is greatly reduced.

2.2. Regional Children’s Reading Resources Differ Greatly

In the allocation process of public cultural service resources, due to the imbalance of local and regional development, the allocation of resources of paper books is also objectively affected. The public cultural infrastructure in the eastern developed areas is relatively complete, while the cultural supporting facilities in the western areas, mountainous areas and rural areas are difficult to cover comprehensively. Taking Rui’an as an example, its current 15 branch library service system construction, the study of more than 20 cities, but in the remote rural and mountainous area, the construction of libraries is difficult to achieve effective allocation of resources. Therefore, part of the region it belongs to can only take the way of setting up a mobile book station to replenish books.

2.3. Children’s Reading Promotion Form Is Single

In the promotion of children’s reading in public libraries, there is a certain blind following, that cannot be combined with the current situation of the development of regional public culture to formulate a good promotion strategy. Without systematic and precise arrangement, it is difficult to play the role of library culture dissemination and information sharing. In addition, the simplification of communication forms reduces children’s reading enthusiasm, and only focuses on the scale of participation while ignoring the development of children’s reading interest. Although many libraries are holding children’s reading promotion activities, but the lack of characteristics, much the same.

3. Strategies for Library to Promote Children’s Reading

Early reading promotion was relatively simple, mainly based on the cultivation of family atmosphere and indirect reading guidance [11]. The promotion of children’s reading is one of the important manifestations of the social education function of public library. For young children, stories, children’s public welfare classes, creative reading and enlightenment reading are mainly used. For children in primary and middle schools, children’s reading promotion activities can be carried out in many forms, such as telling stories of national heroes, preaching patriotic deeds and carrying forward socialist core values.

In view of the above problems in the process of children’s reading promotion in public libraries, this author gives some strategies in the aspects of promotion activities and promotion approaches. Make children’s reading promotion really fall into place.

3.1. Parent-Child Activities, Parent-Child Education, Child Development and Other Theme Lectures

Parent-child reading refers to the use of books as a medium and the sharing of the process and results of reading between parents and children according to the way of reading, so as to improve children’s interest in reading. Shandong Library will regularly develop parent-child reading activities every year, so that children and parents can participate in the activities together. In addition, children’s development lectures are held regularly in the Xuejin Hall of the National Library of China. Ms. Lu Qin, an expert in children’s education, often teaches the knowledge of parent-child education here. Parents lead their children to communicate with experts face to face, strengthen parent-child education, drive children to read through parents’ reading, create reading atmosphere in the family, let parents be children’s bosom friends, experts teach family education methods, and share the joy and happiness of reading together. Through reading to stimulate children’s language ability, appropriate rhetoric, language rhythm, grammar rules, can be imperceptible in the reading. Yin Jianli once said, “There are many elements to learn Chinese well, but the core and most fundamental method is reading” [12]. In the lecture, Lu teacher through his own experience and analysis of some typical reading cases, so that parents understand the importance of reading, realize that it is not easy to grow up.

Children’s reading is regular, we must respect the law of children’s physical and mental development. Libraries at all levels can regularly carry out similar parent-child activities to involve parents in children’s reading activities by learning positive and beneficial reading methods. Public libraries can improve the reading interest of young children through parent-child activities, parent-child reading and other ways, and can create a good reading atmosphere in society and family.

3.2. Public Libraries Regularly Hold Book Meetings and Story Meetings

Suzhou library regularly holds “parents salon” activities, inviting children education experts, through lectures and interactive forms, between parents, parents and experts to establish a face-to-face communication platform, so that more families share successful reading experience and scientific parenting methods. In addition, Santai County Library will actively try to carry out the books, and through holding “picture books―tong qu story” in order to develop children’s reading promotion activities, led the county library, the library volunteers, to carry out this teaching classroom, through the way of the kindergarten lectures, let children feel the paint with the charm of this story, immersed in a sea of reading, cultivate their love reading books, Love learning good habits. In Tianjin, in March 2018, Tianjin children library opens (Eva draw our dreams), all belong to collect books for young children to read picture books, reasonable layout, broad space for reading, comfortable reading environment, attracted a large number of children to read, this is the typical cases of children reading promotion activities in public libraries, after more than two years, The service mode and operation mode of the library have attracted more than 60 libraries from all over the country to visit and investigate. In addition, it is also a very good experience to carry forward the excellent traditional Chinese culture through the library. It is of great help to help children get in touch with Sinology and develop good literary literacy.

Libraries at all levels can carry out similar book exchanges on weekends, summer and winter holidays, so that children can share their reading experience. Driven by “peer learning”, children’s reading enthusiasm and sense of reading experience can be greatly improved. In addition, the library can regularly recruit volunteer mothers to promote and read books (picture books) for some young children by telling stories. At present, most public libraries hold similar picture book reading activities, but competent libraries try to hire professional picture book teachers to help children integrate into picture book reading activities from a professional perspective.

3.3. Carry out Good Book Exchange, Book Fair and Reading Competition

For junior high school students, academic work is the main focus. At this stage, children’s reading promotion mainly includes classroom intensive reading and after-school reading. After the introduction of classics, primary and secondary school to read extra-curricular literature can be carried out through the school book fair, good book exchange and other activities. Public library, as an important medium of cultural communication [13], can provide children with various forms of books and periodicals through reading creation competition and other activities, realizing the last step of library entering schools to promote reading. Book swap activities also have great help to teenage children to promote reading and learning in Shanghai office organization “your good books in my book, let more people read a good book”, through the readings, and in the exchange of books dating card, etc., let the book to complete a migration at the same time, also with books as the carrier, Shanghai to book (SMS). Good book exchange activities can not only promote the utilization of books through the exchange of books, but also transfer knowledge and culture. More importantly, it saves the cost of buying some books, transmits the concept of environmental protection and saves resources. In addition, the library can also set up an exhibition wall, exhibition board, readers can write their “favorite books” on the wall, actively participate in this activity, through the final vote, reward children’s book gift package, reader card points and other forms to improve their reading interest.

Good book exchanges are not only useful in public libraries. Many universities in China, such as Jiangsu University, regularly hold good book exchanges to increase the use of paper books. Even many international students are involved in it [14]. Therefore, for junior middle school students, schools should actively carry out various graphic communication and promotion activities such as the exchange of good books. In the spare time, students should improve their reading quantity of paper books, and encourage them to actively participate in reading promotion and communication through reading creation contests and small prizes.

3.4. Promote Reading for Children in Remote Areas, Rural Areas and Underdeveloped Areas

The per capita ownership of children’s books in rural areas is low, and there are even fewer children’s books in remote areas in central and western China. Although book donation activities are in full swing now, parents’ lack of attention to reading objectively limits children’s desire to read. The rising price of books has objectively restricted their purchase of books. Therefore, in addition to libraries at all levels, the society and government also need to pool resources to promote the development of children’s reading activities. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the construction of basic cultural facilities in rural areas and guide children’s reading skills on a regular basis.

Public libraries at all levels regularly organize activities to send books to the countryside to raise adults’ awareness of reading and encourage young children to read. We should pay attention to the construction of rural libraries and children’s libraries, rather than only increasing the number and ignoring the quality. We should advocate the commonweal nature of children’s bookshops, and also promote the positive energy of the society. We should organize small public benefit activities of books regularly through caring personages and volunteer teams to encourage children to actively participate in and experience the happiness of reading. Library is the main force of local children’s reading guide, many left-behind children in remote areas, the basic cultural facilities construction is difficult, extreme imbalance in reading resources, library should actively mobilize forces at all levels, combined with the local primary and secondary schools, regular books into the campus activities, and targeted book reading promotion of teachers training, Through the school, family, social strong joint realization of books reading promotion. Mobile libraries, also known as mobile libraries, can deliver books to villages and schools for children on a regular or irregular basis without solving the situation that the population in remote areas is too scattered. The flexibility and speed of mobile libraries can make up for the fact that libraries in remote areas do not have high coverage to a certain extent. Beijing Capital Library has set up sub-centers for children to read popular science literature in eight suburban districts and counties, including Changping, Miyun and Fangshan, to improve the relative shortage of local popular science resources, so that children in remote mountainous areas can enjoy the same rich resources of popular science literature as those in urban areas.

4. Public Libraries Actively Carry out Children’s Reading Extension Services

As an important part of the public culture system, public library’s audience is all the people in its region. Because of the different service objects and service groups, public library needs to make different service methods accordingly. For vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, the disabled and urban workers, different promotion strategies should be formulated respectively. For young readers, such as children, whose reading ability is limited, public libraries need to establish a sound management mechanism and provide targeted services for them.

First of all, public libraries should update their children’s reading publications and books regularly. Librarians can consult children’s favorite books by visiting them regularly and setting up guest books. Push children’s favorite books according to their physical and mental development characteristics, interests and hobbies. Also through picture books, comics and other illustrated books improve children’s reading interest and attract the majority of young children into the library to read. Secondly, as a bridge of communication between library and young readers, librarians should have strong professional ability and good affinity, and be able to study children’s education and child psychology more deeply, and promote the development of children’s reading promotion activities in library through the improvement of their own quality. Therefore, the public library should establish an efficient and high-quality service team, adhere to the children’s reading as the center, and meet the needs of children readers of different ages to the greatest extent. Finally, in the arrangement and layout of library shelves, the children’s area should be distinguished from the adult borrowing area. The layout of children’s reading area should ensure the space design principles of openness, fluency, flexibility and interest, and strive to provide them with a more comfortable reading environment.

In addition, public libraries should establish a sound performance management mechanism to provide them with targeted services. In the reading promotion activities of public libraries, the common performance management methods include balanced scorecard method and key performance indicator method. In the reading promotion activities, not only the enthusiasm and participation of children in reading, but also the work enthusiasm of public librarians should be improved. In promotion activities, few public libraries carry out reading promotion specifically for a certain department or individual, with scattered responsibilities and uncertain objectives [15]. Therefore, KPI (key performance indicator) method can be adopted to determine the performance management of reading promotion.

5. Conclusions

Children’s reading is related to the improvement of national quality in the future. Public libraries shoulder the heavy task of civic education and reading. Therefore, they must adhere to the correct value orientation and lead children’s reading to promote sustainable development. This paper mainly discusses how public libraries help promote children’s reading, and deeply shows and analyzes the excellent cases of children’s reading promotion activities in China, helping public libraries to promote children’s reading with high quality, so as to better promote the development of national reading activities.

It is a long way to go for the public libraries to promote children’s reading. The formulation of promotion strategies for children’s reading needs to promote the development of public cultural undertakings through the formulation of corresponding promotion plans and training of reading promoters based on the stage and level of children’s physical and mental development. Children’s reading promotion is known as “root project, flower cause”. Helping children to read has strategic significance for children’s personal growth, national social development and the future of the nation. The positioning and social functions of public libraries determine that they should become the important fulcrum and core force of children’s reading promotion. The promotion of children’s reading should also become the responsibility and mission of every library.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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